Wikin te Taetae ni Kiribati 2023

Kam na bane ni mauri! Welcome to Wikin te Taetae ni Kiribati | Kiribati Language Week 2023. Tungaru, the main language of the i-Kiribati people, is spoken by over 100,000 people across the 33 islands and atolls of Kiribati — and by around 1500 people here in Aotearoa. i-Kiribati people are an important part of our community in Aotearoa, with over 3,000 people of Kiribati heritage calling our islands home, about 310 of whom live in Wellington. (Source: 2018 Census)

This year, the theme for Wikin te Taetae ni Kiribati is:

“Ribinan, karikirakean ao kateimatoan ara katei ma ara taetae ni Tungaru.” | “Nurture, enhance and sustain the Tungaru language and culture.”

Help us celebrate this special time for the community by learning more about the unique culture, language and history of Kiribati through the books and other resources below!


Check out some of these books from our children’s section from and about Kiribati, and in te taetae ni Kiribati:

I want to read and speak Kiribati / Ewels, Kinaua
“Kiribati-English primer. Kiribati is a Pacific nation which straddles the equator. […] Most of the children in New Zealand use English as their language. Some children are encouraged to use Kiribati at home but still do not write the language because they do not have a written text. This book will assist children in New Zealand and Kiribati to become bi-lingual.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Nui’s unique heritage = Nui iloga e kakateke / Sioni, Alamai
“Describes how the people of two different Pacific cultures, I-Kiribati and Samoan, came together on Nui, Tuvalu.” (Catalogue)

Tareima’s string / MacGregor, Jill
“Tareima, who lives in Kiribati, shows how she makes string from the fibres of coconut husks, and describes what the string is used for. Contains some Kiribati words and glossary. Suggested level: primary.” (Catalogue)

Te ano / MacGregor, Jill
“Describes the traditional game of Te Kabwe, as played in Kiribati, and how two young girls weave a new ball (ano) out of pandanus leaves when the old one is worn out.” (Catalogue)

Micronesia / Guile, Melanie
“Discover what life is like in Micronesia as you read about its history, language, customs and traditions. Find out about Micronesia’s best known landmarks and its unique plants and animals. Learn about life in the towns and the country, and environmental problems, such as rising seas. Ages 8+.”(Catalogue)

Beginnings and endings with lifetimes in between / Mellonie, Bryan
“Have you ever wondered why a butterfly lives for only a few weeks? Or why a tree lives for hundreds of years? You may have been sad when someone in your family, or a favourite pet became sick and died. There is a beginning and an ending to everything that is alive. In between is a lifetime.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Rising seas : flooding, climate change and our new world / Thomas, Keltie
“The Earth’s oceans are on the rise. Since 1900, global sea levels have risen steadily each year to a global average of about 8 inches (20cm) today, and they’re still rising. By 2100, the sea could climb as much as 14 feet (4.3m) to 32 feet (9.75m). Rising Seas: Flooding, Climate Change and Our New World gives youth an eye-popping view of what the Earth might look like under the rising and falling water levels of climate change. Photographs juxtapose the present-day with that same area’s projected future. The shocking images will help them understand the urgency for action. Key issues in today’s news will be better understood, such as the 2015 Paris Protocol in which the world agreed to limit temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius (ideally 1.5 degree).” (Catalogue)

Also, visit this link to find even more books about Kiribati at your local library.

More Resources

Check out the following websites to find out more about the atolls and islands of Kiribati and this beautiful country’s culture, language and history: